View Full Version : Butterfly Effect

05-18-2009, 02:28 AM
I just mentioned this in another thread and figured I would start a thread for it. I would make an educated guess and say that the majority, if not all of the people on this site know what the Butterfly Effect is. It is also referred to as the Chaos Theory(It states simply, that anything can alter everything).

Well I wanted to start a cool new thread where people can tell their accounts of something(anything) that happened in a game(can be D&D, or anything else at all!) and what the Butterfly Effect was for said action or event. Then I want you to spin it and use your imagination to tell us how the world or events would have been different if said action or event never took place.

I will start the ball rolling in case people are unsure as to how to do this...

In my Farland 3.5 campaign that I am in, my group was in a town called Elder Daven. We encountered a group of assassins trying to kill our Paladin. They would have succeeded if not for the guard deciding to do one more check that night before it was completely nighttime (undead everywhere, all people lock up once night falls). The result was that our Paladin survived (he was at like 0 or -1 Hps, and the creature was about to attack him again, when the guard showed up and made the assassin flee).

Ok now the Butterfly Effect spin would be that the guard decided not to patrol through the town one more time that night. So the assassin got in that extra hit, our Paladin dropped to -10, and was dead and gone). Without our Paladin, there is a good chance that the group would have ventured off onto their own things(seeing as how he is pretty much the middle man of the group that glues us together). His sister(the elven rogue) would have left to do her own thing seeing as how her only tie to us was him. I(elven monk and close friend to the paladin) would have most likely joined her and carried out his goals he had set out for himself). The two of us reach his destination and fight the baddies. Without the other members though we die fighting them. Whereas if he never died the whole group stays together and carries out the task of defeating said baddies.

Funny how 1 little thing could change soooo much. Alright guys(and girls) run with it.....

05-18-2009, 10:47 AM
In my campaign, the party was confronted by bandits. They were already hurt and had a chance to run, but they did not. In fighting the bandits, the mage got really lucky and killed the leader in 1 strike. The rest followed after a nasty fight. The party examined the equipment the bandits were carrying and knew something was fishy (it was too good), but did not decide to investigate further.

In doing this, they allowed the contact arming the bandits to live, in turn that person informed the baron to the north of who the party was. The party stopped for almost 3 weeks to rest at the next town, giving their new enemy of the baron time to regroup and send a raiding party into the fief they were in. Now war between East River Run and Belmain fiefs may be imminent... and if that starts, it will destabilize Dunstrand, and the trade that flows through it. This will trigger raiding parties of Pine Tribes, and Umbak to the south will be encouraged to raid Dunstrand while she struggles internally. This will cause more troops to be deployed south, robbing the Gillman pass of defenders and allowing the Gwinnish forces occupying the Tarmysian peninsula to attack western Dunstrand.... not good.

05-18-2009, 01:54 PM
thats a good one temple! Mine was a simple example but that was the kind of response I was hoping for!

05-19-2009, 10:12 AM
A game of mine completely dissolved due to the actions of one of the PCs. I sent along an NPC to be his betrothed, he had her killed. Her purpose was to recognize there was something fishy about certain other NPCs and assist in bringing them down. The cleric of the party got wise to the baddie's machinations, but couldn't do anything about it since the same PC turned the entire city against him and imprisoned him. Then the PC decided to actually team up with the baddie to find out what was "really" going on in the town. I discontinued the session there, but if I'd kept it going, the PC would have become a blood sacrifice for a demon summoning and the entire town would have been destroyed.

If he'd picked up on some context clues and not high-jacked the party ... probably still be alive to annoy other baddies ;)